Watching football in a basement that is being ventilated of toxic fumes gives the viewer a unique perspective on the action. The chemical smells of carpet cleaner and generic air freshener mix to accompany the nuanced football taking place between Germany and Portugal. Both sides have exchanged bouts of diving and trickery, but neither able to break through in the opening twenty minutes.
Pepe gives the impression that if he had been born without his formidable football skills, he would have been a contract killer, a hired assassin used to carry out covert missions. Rather than using stealth and guild to accomplish his missions, Pepe prefers a rocket launcher to dismember his unrecognizable targets. Pepe's specialty is collateral damage and he makes no mistakes when it comes to putting in a devastating tackle on his opponents. It was a surprising sight in the first half when he helped his Real Madrid teammate Mezut Ozil to his feet following a challenge.
Ze Germans have preferred to dribble into the attacking area to earn their chances. Portugal has been happy to sink into defense and attack with pace when given the opportunities. As Ze Germans settled into the game, their opportunities came with increasing frequency, but they were unable to score in the first half. Portugal had the best chance of the first half, hitting the bar off a corner kick that fell to Pepe, but hit the underside of the crossbar and was cleared by the German defense.
I retreated upstairs for halftime, breathing in the fresh air cleared my head from the contentious match taking place on the television. Fifteen minutes later it was time to return and I was greeted with a German attack that ended with Podolski's shot being blocked by Joao Periera. Timely interventions and hard tackles made up the majority of the first twenty minutes after the restart, with neither side being able to find the goal that would give them the advantage.
In the 72nd minute a deflected cross from Jerome Boateng found the head of Mario Gomez who launched a header back across the goal and into the back of the net. A moment of brilliance had finally come after a rather boring match between two of the top teams in the world. Following the goal, the Germans had another opportunity to score, but Gomez was unable to get onto the driven cross.
The Portuguese attack became increasingly desperate in the late stages, forcing timely challenges from Hummels and Co.. Cristiano Ronaldo had tried his tricks on the edge of the area, but found the waiting hands of Manuel Neuer with a shot from distance and earned a corner. Nani found only the crossbar with an effort a few minutes later and it began to look like Portugal would not be able to equalize.
Their best chance came when Nelson Oliveira played a ball across the penalty area through two German defenders to the waiting substitute Varela, but the newly introduced man blasted his shot into the groin of Neuer and Ze Germans cleared from danger. A corner in stoppage time gave Portugal a final opportunity to score, Bruno Alves rose to meet Nani's corner, but the ball sailed over the goal dooming Portugal to the bottom of the group standings with the Netherlands. A deserved victory for Ze Germans who were the aggressors throughout.